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Genesis 37

1 But Jacob settled in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.

2 This is the story of Joseph. Joseph was seventeen years old. As he was young, he was shepherding the flock with his brothers, with the sons of his father’s wives, Bilhah and Zilpah; and Joseph brought his father bad reports about them.

3 Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons, for he was the son of his old age, and he had a decorated tunic made for him.

4 But his brothers, seeing how much more his father loved him than all his other sons, came to hate him so much that they could not say a civil word to him.

5 Now Joseph had a dream, and he repeated it to his brothers, who then hated him more than ever.

6 ‘Listen’, he said, ‘to the dream I had.

7 We were binding sheaves in the field, when my sheaf suddenly rose and stood upright, and then your sheaves gathered round and bowed to my sheaf.’

8 ‘So you want to be king over us,’ his brothers retorted, ‘you want to lord it over us?’ And they hated him even more, on account of his dreams and of what he said.

9 He had another dream which he recounted to his brothers. ‘Look, I have had another dream,’ he said. ‘There were the sun, the moon and eleven stars, bowing down to me.’

10 He told his father and brothers, and his father scolded him. ‘A fine dream to have!’ he said to him. ‘Are all of us then, myself, your mother and your brothers, to come and bow to the ground before you?’

11 His brothers held it against him, but his father pondered the matter.

12 His brothers went to pasture their father’s flock at Shechem.

13 Then Israel said to Joseph, ‘Your brothers are with the flock at Shechem, aren’t they? Come, I am going to send you to them.’ ‘I am ready,’ he replied.

14 He said to him, ‘Go and see how your brothers and the flock are doing, and bring me word.’ He sent him from the valley of Hebron, and Joseph arrived at Shechem.

15 A man found him wandering in the countryside and asked him, ‘What are you looking for ? ‘

16 ‘I am looking for my brothers,’ he replied. ‘Please tell me where they are pasturing their flock.’

17 The man answered, ‘They have moved on from here; indeed I heard them say, “Let us go to Dothan.” ‘ So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

18 They saw him in the distance, and before he reached them they made a plot to kill him.

19 ‘Here comes that dreamer,’ they said to one another.

20 ‘Come on, let us kill him now and throw him down one of the storage-wells; we can say that some wild animal has devoured him. Then we shall see what becomes of his dreams.’

21 But Reuben heard, and he saved him from their clutches. ‘We must not take his life,’ he said.

22 ‘Shed no blood,’ said Reuben to them, ‘throw him down that well out in the desert, but do not kill him yourselves’ — intending to save him from them and to restore him to his father.

23 So, when Joseph reached his brothers, they pulled off his tunic, the decorated tunic which he was wearing,

24 and catching hold of him, threw him into the well. The well was empty, with no water in it.

25 They then sat down to eat. Looking up, they saw a group of Ishmaelites who were coming from Gilead, their camels laden with gum tragacanth, balsam and resin, which they were taking to Egypt.

26 Then Judah said to his brothers, ‘What do we gain by killing our brother and covering up his blood?

27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, then we shall not have laid hands on him ourselves. After all, he is our brother, and our own flesh.’ His brothers agreed.

28 Now some Midianite merchants were passing, and they pulled Joseph out of the well. They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver, and these men took Joseph to Egypt.

29 When Reuben went back to the well, there was no sign of Joseph. Tearing his clothes,

30 he went back to his brothers. ‘The boy has gone,’ he said. ‘What am I going to do?’

31 They took Joseph’s tunic and, slaughtering a goat, dipped the tunic in the blood.

32 Then they sent off the decorated tunic and had it taken to their father, with the message, ‘This is what we have found. Do you recognise it as your son’s tunic or not?’

33 He recognised it and cried, ‘My son’s tunic! A wild animal has devoured him! Joseph has been torn to pieces!’

34 Tearing his clothes and putting sackcloth round his waist, Jacob mourned his son for many days.

35 All his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. ‘No,’ he said, ‘I will go down to Sheol in mourning and join my son.’ Thus his father wept for him.

36 Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials and commander of the guard.

Job 27

1 And Job continued his solemn discourse. He said:

2 I swear by the living God who denies me justice, by Shaddai who has filled me with bitterness,

3 that as long as a shred of life is left in me, and the breath of God breathes in my nostrils,

4 my lips will never speak evil nor my tongue utter any lie.

5 Far from admitting you to be in the right, I shall maintain my integrity to my dying day.

6 I take my stand on my uprightness, I shall not stir: in my heart I need not be ashamed of my days.

7 Let my enemy meet the fate of the wicked, my adversary, the lot of the evil-doer!

8 For what hope does the godless have when he prays and raises his soul to God?

9 Is God likely to hear his cries when disaster descends on him?

10 Did he make Shaddai all his delight, calling on him at every turn?

11 But I am showing you the way that God works, making no secret of Shaddai’s designs.

12 And if you had all understood them for yourselves, you would not have wasted your breath in empty words.

13 This is the fate that God assigns to the wicked, the inheritance that the violent receive from Shaddai.

14 Though he have many children, it is but for the sword; his descendants will never have enough to eat.

15 Plague will bury those he leaves behind him, and their widows will have no chance to mourn them.

16 Though he amass silver like dust and gather fine clothes like clay,

17 let him gather!-some good man will wear them, while his silver is shared among the upright.

18 All he has built himself is a spider’s web, made himself a watchman’s shack.

19 He goes to bed rich, but never again: he wakes to find it has all gone

20 Terror assails him in broad daylight, and at night a whirlwind sweeps him off. 

21 An east wind picks him up and drags him away, snatching him up from his homestead. 

22 Pitilessly he is turned into a target, and forced to flee from the hands that menace him. 

23 His downfall is greeted with applause, he is hissed wherever he goes.

24 He had his time of glory, now he vanishes, wilting like the saltwort once it is picked, and withering like an ear of corn.

Job 28

1 Silver has its mines, and gold a place for refining.

2 Iron is extracted from the earth, the smelted rocks yield copper.

3 Man makes an end of darkness, to the utmost limit he digs the black rock in shadow dark as death.

4 Foreigners bore into ravines in unfrequented places, swinging suspended far from human beings.

5 That earth from which bread comes is ravaged underground by fire.

6 There, the rocks have veins of sapphire and their dust contains gold.

7 That is a path unknown to birds of prey, unseen by the eye of any vulture;

8 a path not trodden by the lordly beasts, where no lion ever walked.

9 Man attacks the flint, upturning mountains by their roots.

10 He cuts canals through the rock, on the watch for anything precious.

11 He explores the sources of rivers, bringing hidden things to light.

12 But where does Wisdom come from? Where is Intelligence to be found?

13 No human being knows the way to her, she is not to be found on earth where they live.

14 ‘She is not in me,’ says the Abyss; ‘Nor here,’ replies the Sea.

15 She cannot be bought with solid gold, nor paid for with any weight of silver,

16 nor valued against gold of Ophir, precious agate or sapphire.

17 Neither gold nor glass compares with her, for her, a vase of fine gold would be no exchange,

18 let alone coral or crystal: better go fishing for Wisdom than for pearls!

19 Topaz from Cush is worthless in comparison, and gold, even refined, is valueless.

20 But where does Wisdom come from? Where is Intelligence to be found?

21 She cannot be seen by any living creature, she is hidden from the birds of the sky.

22 Perdition and Death both say, ‘We have heard only rumours of her.’

23 God alone understands her path and knows where she is to be found.

24 (For he sees to the remotest parts of the earth, and observes all that lies under heaven.)

25 When he willed to give weight to the wind and measured out the waters with a gauge,

26 when he imposed a law on the rain and mapped a route for thunderclaps to follow,

27 then he saw and evaluated her, looked her through and through, assessing her.

28 Then he said to human beings, ‘Wisdom? – that is fear of the Lord; Intelligence? – avoidance of evil.’

Proverbs 3 [25-27]

25 Have no fear either of sudden terror or of attack mounted by wicked men,

26 since Yahweh will be your guarantor, he will keep your steps from the snare.

27 Refuse no kindness to those who have a right to it, if it is in your power to perform it.

Thoughts and Reflection

Today we see what the power of jealousy and envy can do. Joseph is the youngest of Israel’s sons and this father favors him because he is Rachel’s son. His older brothers don’t think this is fair and they have jealousy towards him. It is hard to understand how this jealousy can turn into an action like what Joseph’s brothers did to him. It is a good reminder that jealousy, if left unchecked, can turn into resentment.

What is resentment? It is believe that someone has something we think should be ours. In this story of Joseph it was his father’s love. It is also a sign of brokenness. How do you deal with it? First is to recognize where the envy and jealousy has taken hold. Then recognize everything you have is a gift from God and it is not something owed to you. Everything is a gift and should be received with gratitude.

How do you deal with jealousy and envy in your lives?

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

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